Beauty in the Pain
There are thirty three joints in the foot. For someone with an inflammatory joint disease, like Rheumatoid Arthritis, that means that there are thirty three places that can become inflamed and make walking painful. Sometimes, when I walk it is the flexion of the foot that causes pain, sometimes it is the toes, the balls of the foot, or the ankle. Regardless of where the pain happens to be on that particular day, the end result is still the same. Most days, my foot hurts. Walking hurts and even sitting hurts as the dull ache travels all the way up my leg and sometimes into my back.
There are nights where the slight pressure of the sheets on my feet could cause immense amounts of pain, not to mention the jerks and kicks from a slumbering spouse. I lay in bed at night, curled in a ball, trying to shield my delicate feet from the world, crying out to God. The ache that comes from the loss of the person I used to be, the person that I want to be, and the desperate yearning to be limited only by ambition. In the dark of the night, alone with my pain, I grieve. I cry for them, for the type wife and mother they will not have, and the worn down, irritable mother that has replaced her. I cry for me.
In the midst of my pain, he gently speaks to me through his word. “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.” I reply, “Here I am Lord. Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:9). He replies, “Consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”(James 1:2-4) Distraught, I cry, “Hear my cry for help, my King and my god, for to you I pray!”(Psalm 5:2) Gently, he answers, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”(Matthew 11:28-29) “I will cover you with my feathers, and under my wings you will find refuge; my faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” (Psalm 91:4).
Because of the pain, life is slower and life’s distractions have fallen away. The Lord is more near, more clear, more present. His word breathes life into me, it is in prayer that I find peace, and through the spirit, I find joy. I thank the Lord, without the pain, it is so easy to miss his beauty.